OSHA Enforcement

New York, NY – OSHA has cited Western Waterproofing Co. Inc. – doing business as Western Specialty Contractors – for exposing employees to serious injuries at a New York City construction worksite. The St. Louis, Missouri-based contractor faces $155,204 in proposed penalties.

An unsecured mini-crane overturned and fell four stories at an East 125th Street worksite on June 25, 2018.

OSHA cited Western for the following:

  • Ensuring that the employee assigned to operate the crane was trained, evaluated, and determined competent to operate the equipment;
  • Operating the crane in excess of its rated lifting capacity; and
  • Not verifying that the load being lifted was within the crane’s rated lifting capacity.

Separately, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has announced a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Western and the indictment of the company’s project manager and superintendent on criminal charges in connection with the incident.

Woodland Hills, CA – OSHA has cited the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for a repeated violation of OSHA’s General Duty Clause following the heat-related death of a Southern California mail carrier at the Woodland Hills Post Office.

The employee suffered hyperthermia while delivering mail in July 2018 when the outdoor temperature reached 117 degrees.

The general duty violation addresses USPS’s programs and procedures for employees working in high-heat situations. The postal service was also cited for a repeated violation of recordkeeping requirements related to recording heat stress incidents.

Proposed penalties total $149,664.

Two roofing contractors are facing $147,998 in proposed penalties after an OSHA inspection revealed numerous safety violations.

Missouri-based Aspen Contracting Inc. and subcontractor J Cuellar LLC based in West Bend, Wisc., exposed employees to dangerous fall hazards at a Fountain, Colo.construction site, according to the agency.

OSHA discovered J Cueller LLC employee at a home re-roofing without fall protection during a July 2018 inspection. The company was cited for a fall protection violation.

In addition, the agency found Aspen Contracting Inc. “repeatedly” failed to protect workers from fall hazards and did not conduct frequent job site inspections.

Dallas, TX – OSHA has cited RKM Utility Services Inc. for failing to protect workers from hydrogen sulfide after an employee died after exposure to dangerous levels of the gas while working in a trench in Dallas, Texas.

OSHA inspectors determined that the company:

  • Exposed employees to a hazardous atmosphere;
  • Failed to train employees on the health hazards of hydrogen sulfide; and
  • Did not drain water from the trench.

The company faces penalties of $422,006.

Hydrogen sulfide is flammable and toxic, particularly in confined spaces such as trenches and sewers. Employers are required to test the air to detect the presence of the gas, use exhaust systems to reduce hydrogen sulfide levels, train workers on hazards and control methods, and provide personal protective equipment if control methods used are not sufficient to reduce hydrogen sulfide levels.